University of Oulu

Nieminen, M., Piirainen, S., Sikström, U. et al. Ambio (2018) 47: 535.

Ditch network maintenance in peat-dominated boreal forests : ditch network maintenance in peat-dominated boreal forests

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Author: Nieminen, Mika1; Piirainen, Sirpa1; Sikström, Ulf2;
Organizations: 1Natural Resources Institute, Finland
2Skogforsk, Uppsala, Sweden
3Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, SLU, Uppsala
4Water Resources and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2018
Publish Date: 2019-03-27


The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of different water management options to mitigate sediment and nutrient exports from ditch network maintenance (DNM) areas in boreal peatland forests. Available literature was reviewed, past data reanalyzed, effects of drainage intensity modeled, and major research gaps identified. The results indicate that excess downstream loads may be difficult to prevent. Water protection structures constructed to capture eroded matter are either inefficient (sedimentation ponds) or difficult to apply (wetland buffers). It may be more efficient to decrease erosion, either by limiting peak water velocity (dam structures) or by adjusting ditch depth and spacing to enable satisfactory drainage without exposing the mineral soil below peat. Future research should be directed towards the effects of ditch breaks and adjusted ditch depth and spacing in managing water quality in DNM areas.

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Series: Ambio. A journal of the human environment
ISSN: 0044-7447
ISSN-E: 1654-7209
ISSN-L: 0044-7447
Volume: 47
Issue: 5
Pages: 535 - 545
DOI: 10.1007/s13280-018-1047-6
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 218 Environmental engineering
Copyright information: © Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2018. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Ambio. The final authenticated version is available online at: